State-led dominance

By: Francis Allan L. Angelo

In the same way that Chinese state-owned China Telecom (ChinaTel), through its joint venture partner Dito Telecommunity, was able to extricate a lop-sided deal from the AFP to put up telecom infrastructures inside Philippine military camps, no less than Chinese President Xi Jinping struck a deal with the Philippines for a joint oil and gas exploration provided that the latter gives up its favorable arbitral ruling over the disputed West Philippine Sea.

The same is true with other Philippine-China deals where the latter has the upper hand.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as one of its principal shareholders.  With Zhu Guangchao of SGCC as NGCP’s Chairman, the control of the operation, maintenance and development places the supply and demand of power under this SGCC-dominated NGCP.

Operational control by the SGCC even extends to the hiring of people at the NGCP which has to be cleared with officials of the State Grid of China.

Allowing “any form of control…as in…the joint oil exploration with China…may be a sign of giving up sovereign rights,” maritime law expert Jay Batongbacal said over the ABS-CBN News channel (ANC).

As in the violation by China of territorial rights in the West Philippine Sea, the ChinaTel MOA with the AFP is likewise a threat or even a violation of the Filipinos’ right to privacy and security of data.

Security concerns on ChinaTel’s foray into the critical telecommunications industry continue to haunt the franchise of the Dito-China Tel third party telco player.

Party-list Ako Bicol lawmaker, Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr., likewise expressed the same position of Rep. Manny Cabochan regarding “US, PH security concerns due to issues of ‘national security’, both domestically and from the US, on the ambitious digital infrastructure initiative of the country’s third telco player.”

Key international analysts are one in saying that the dominance of countries’ businesses and industries point to a centralized program of the state of China’s politburo. From telecommunications to infrastructure and finance, etc., it’s been a long-standing policy of China to become the undisputed global power and it achieves this goal through many ways – all to the detriment of the countries’ freedoms which fall prey to this aggressive use of force.

The Philippines should, therefore, take a precautionary stand on business deals with the state of China.  The government should not act on its own without recognizing its people’s sovereign rights and freedoms. The last thing we deserve is to fall into a trap in the face of this geopolitical dominance.